Document Management Tools for Small Businesses

Document Management Tools for Your Small Business

We’ve all heard the saying that time is money, right?

Well, that’s doubly true in business, when it can feel like a million things are clamoring for your time and you know that every decision you make will have an impact. Time management is crucial here, and one of the most important things that you can do is tighten up your day-to-day organization and use of files, records and documents.

While it’s important to have strong routines and processes in place for managing files and documents, there are also a ton of cool tools out there that can help you do this efficiently as well.

So! Keep your files where you can find them with these cool tools.

 

Tool Type: Document sharing & management services

Examples: Google Drive (free) and Dropbox (free plan or paid from $12 per user/month)

The Pitch: Cloud-based file management services like Google Drive are designed to make accessing and working on files easier, whether you’re away from your desk or working with collaborators who aren’t in the same location. With tools like this, you can get to your files from any device that’s logged into the service (either in your web browser or through the app). You can also share files with others and have multiple users edit and contribute to files, and track each person’s changes, no matter where they are. This all makes collaboration so much easier than emailing, downloading, and re-sending PDFs back and forth and creating new versions of documents during the editing phases!

 

Tool Type: Digital signature management

Examples: DocuSign ($10/month) and HelloSign (free at 3 signatures/month, $13/month after)

The Pitch: Digital signature management is the perfect solution for those times when a document needs a signature quickly. Instead of a whole meeting or trip down to the office, all parties can sign a contract or document online. Signatures can quickly hold up a process, delay projects and threaten deadlines. With tools like these, you can just send them the document that needs their signature and get their digital handwriting back within minutes. It’s the perfect time-saver, and will let you save some paper too!

 

Tool Type: Remote scanning

Examples: Genius Scan (free plan or paid from $2.99/month) or Notes (free, some devices)

The Pitch: Remote scanning lets you use an app on your phone to take a photo of a document with your phone camera, and it will create a fully functional PDF—much like you would with a traditional scanner, only easier! You can then email the document out. This is a great alternative for signing documents digitally if you don’t have Docusign, but it is also useful for scanning receipts or sending other types of images and files out. Besides replacing a whole piece of office machinery, remote scanning lets you scan wherever and whenever you need to, letting you work smarter, not harder. Great for reference and doing business on the go!

 

Tool Type: File shredders

Examples: Freeraser (free) and Securely Free Shredder (free) 

The Pitch: Did you know that, when you click “delete” on a file, it isn’t actually off your computer until it gets manually removed or overwritten? Luckily, if you’re looking to free up space or to remove sensitive information, file shredders get the job done. These one-click, drag-and-drop tools will permanently remove the files you don’t want anymore, no coding or searching required! (Note: Emails work differently from files, so if you’re looking to clear up your inbox, take a look at the options available for your email provider.)

 

Tool Type: Receipt management tools

Examples: Receiptbank (free trial, $10/month after) or Expensify (pay-per-use or $5/month plan) 

The Pitch: Saving receipts sounds so easy, until all of a sudden you have a stack of scraps of paper that you have to dig through each time you need something. Who has time for that? Instead, try bundling or automating some of your record-keeping and accounting activities together with expense management tools. Use the app on your phone to save receipts, track daily expenses, and sync up the little things with larger tools like Xero or QuickBooks. Save yourself a couple hours of manual entry with one-click solutions!

 

Try out some of these tools today to make your business run a little smoother—and so that you can take some time for yourself, too!

Makisha Boothe

Makisha is Head Business Coach and founder of Sistahbiz Global Network. She specializes in rapid improvement and innovation, and helps women with business startup and design.

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